Angola, the West African nation, bordered by Namibia, Zambia, and D.R Congo has been in news recently when telecom operators in the country invested in building next generation networks. Political unrest due to civil war immediately after getting independence from Portugal had stalled the growth of Angola. Angola’s growth starts from 2002. The country that lost almost 8 percent of its population to the bloody civil war is now on track of building modern communication infrastructures.
There are more than 310,000 fixed telephone lines in a country with a population of more than 19 million. Numbers of mobile subscribers are around 10 million. Fixed line telephone density is 1 per 100 people, while more than 62 people out of 100 uses mobile phones. Around 9 percent of the homes in Angola has computer, but only 8 percent had opted for getting internet connection through fixed landphone connection.
Less than twenty percent of Angolan population uses internet. Popularity of mobile broadband is less in Angola partly due to the affordability factor. Around 2 out of 1000 Angolans use mobile to access broadband services. Mobile broadband is yet to become popular in Angola. Once the local businesses get improved by the growth in international businesses, it is expected that more Angolans will tend towards mobile broadband services. Planning has done towards this direction by installing fiber cables to support future bandwidth demands.
The state owned telecom, Angola Telecom had monopoly for fixed line telephone sector until 2005. Demand for services was high but Angola Telecom could not deliver to meet the market demand. Service were high priced, but often failed to meet customer expectations. This invited the neighbor, Telecom Namibia, to become the first private licensed operator in Angola’s fixed-line telephone network through an Angolan Company. Angola Telecom had established mobile cellular service in Luanda in 1993. The state owned telecom company extended the services to larger towns.
Broadcasting media are controlled by state. Internet users in Angola is considered to be a major driving force for expansion of next generation networks and for the construction of fiber optic networks to deliver high speed broadband services. It is estimated that more than 700,000 Angolans make use of internet services.
In 2014, plans were made by Angola Cables, the state owned telecom company to connect Angola with Brazil through submarine fiber optic cables. This USD 260 million project will connect Africa with Latin America. Around 6,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable route was surveyed to link Luanda with Fortaleza in Brazil with a transmission capacity of 40 Tbps. This telecommunication cable system known as South Atlantic Cable System will connect ‘Americas Cable’, another submarine fiber cable system connecting Brazil and United States. Thus Angola is all set to catch up with the newest developments in fiber optics.